So as the name rather suggests, ‘pre-workout’, is traditionally taken prior to working out. But are they only “allowed” to be taken before working out? Let’s explore the reasons why you could take a pre-workout supplement without actually working out and how they can assist in other day-to-day tasks.
It is possible to use a pre-workout supplement when not training. Pre-workout supplements are designed to increase energy levels and focus, and are typically taken before exercising. However, when not training, pre-workout supplements can still provide benefits. They can help to boost energy levels and mental focus, as well as increase alertness and concentration. Pre-workout supplements can also help to reduce fatigue and provide an overall feeling of well-being. Additionally, they can help to improve cognitive performance and may even help to improve mood.
Ultimately, pre-workout supplements can be used when not training to help increase energy levels, mental focus, alertness, concentration and more.
The main fuel of energy in pre-workout supplements is the well-known stimulant, caffeine. Typically, a cup of coffee is the go-to beverage for many people to give them a boost of energy, particularly in the mornings. The caffeine content in a cup of coffee can be anywhere from 50mg - 160mg, depending on the type of coffee. A serving of pre-workout can be anywhere between 100mg right the way up to 400mg caffeine!
Pre-workout supplements and coffee both provide a boost of energy, but they do so in different ways. Pre-workouts contain ingredients such as caffeine, B vitamins, and amino acids that work together to increase energy levels and focus. As mentioned, caffeine is the primary stimulant in coffee.
Coffee also contains other compounds, such as theobromine and theophylline, that can give you a jolt of energy. Pre-workout drinks are designed to improve physical performance, increase focus and alertness, and delay fatigue.
Coffee, on the other hand, provides a quick burst of energy but can also result in a crash once the caffeine wears off. Coffee can also make you jittery if you consume too much.
Let’s explore some of the ingredients found in pre-workout supplements that can assist in everyday activities and tasks.
Pre-workout supplements can often contain the friendly amino acid called l-theanine which can reduce the crash that is associated with caffeine by balancing the stimulating effects of the caffeine and even promoting relaxation. It can also reduce the negative effects of caffeine such as headaches, jitters and restlessness.
L-theanine helps to reduce the effects of the stress hormones that are released when caffeine is consumed. It helps to reduce the potential jitteriness and anxiety that is often associated with caffeine consumption by stimulating the production of alpha waves in the brain which are shown to have a calming and relaxing effect on the body.
We know the importance of sleep, particularly for muscle recovery and l-theanine has been shown to help people get better quality sleep even when caffeine has been consumed earlier in the day as it helps to reduce the effects of caffeine on the body’s natural sleep cycle.
Pre-workout supplements can contain many other ingredients such as cognitive enhancers like l-tyrosine. This is an amino acid that has been shown to improve cognitive function by increasing the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. This includes dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine which are responsible for regulating focus, mood and even motivation. But what’s even better is that l-tyrosine has been shown to reduce the effects of stress on the brain. In turn, this can help you to think clearly and improve decision-making and concentration. This can be particularly helpful in stressful situations such as work tasks and exams.
They also often contain B vitamins which can help to reduce fatigue and boost energy levels which can allow you to stay focused on the task at hand and become even more productive throughout the day. This is because they also promote healthy levels of neurotransmitters which are critical for maintaining focus and concentration. B vitamins are involved in the production of energy within the body and help to keep the nervous system functioning properly.
B vitamins are involved in the production of energy, especially from carbohydrates where they help to convert it into glucose which the body will use for energy.
How to use pre-workouts on your off days?
So when taking a pre-workout before heading to the gym, you’d typically want to take it around 20 minutes before starting your session. This is so you can give your body enough time to absorb the ingredients and for them to start to take effect. When taking a pre-workout on your rest days, you could follow suit and take it roughly 20 minutes before beginning your work task. Ensure you are sufficiently hydrated both before taking it and throughout the rest of the day.
As pre-workouts can contain a significant amount of caffeine, we would recommend assessing your tolerance by starting with a smaller dose and building your way up. People would usually consume 2-3 cups of coffee a day, often spread out throughout the day. We would not advise this when taking a pre-workout, it would be fine to take it in the morning for example and you wouldn’t usually need any other form of caffeine throughout the day. The ingredients within the pre-workout could help to control the effects of caffeine so that you get a pleasant experience with a sustained level of energy throughout the day.
The beauty with pre-workouts is that you know exactly how much of each ingredient you’ll consume with each serving (if it is not a proprietary blend of course). This is great because you can control the amount of caffeine you’ll consume in particular. So you could decide to take a smaller dose as you won’t be needing such an intense kick as you would when you’re in the gym, so you can still reap the benefits of all the ingredients without overstimulating your body.
So if you need sustained energy throughout the day, pre-workout supplements are a great option as they contain much more than just caffeine and can also improve cognitive function. They contain ingredients that can provide you with an energy boost and improved focus throughout the day, without the crash of coffee.
Explore our range of pre-workouts where we have both stimulant and non-stimulant products available.